Page 26 - MFM March 2016
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         “Membership-Our Collective Responsibility”

                   David L. Nielsen, Deputy in Montana

 At this time of the year the Valley Secretary  keep in contact with all our brothers and help
must prepare the annual membership report       them in time of need, sympathize in time of
showing the number of new members,              their sorrow and celebrate with them in time
the number of deceased members and the          of their joy. Waiting to call only when they
number of members who are suspended. As         are several years delinquent is probably the
in the other Masonic bodies, we see a number    worse time to make that call. The comment,
of members who are suspended because            “I never hear from the lodge except when
of lapse in payment of dues. Usually the        they need money” is too often the truth. I
Valley Secretary and other Valley leadership,   challenge all the membership to seek out
including the Personal Representative and       those brothers we have not seen nor heard
other Valley officers make contact with the     from and simply ask, “how are you doing.”
members it is about to lose due to suspension   This reminds them that we care as brothers
to try to convince the member to maintain       about their well-being. That is what makes
his membership. I have seen the list of         us a fraternity of good men trying to be a
names of brothers on the list of those to be    better brother, friend and companion.
suspended for NPD and when I see those that
I have personally known and broke Masonic        The leadership of the Valley can certainly
bread with I am saddened by the loss of their   help to search for lost brothers and make
membership.                                     sure there is a brother that can reach out but
                                                the bottom line it is our duty as Masonic
 As I have watched this phenomenon cycle        brothers.
through every year, I wonder if there is
not a better way to keep these brothers as       Let’s work to not lose any brothers because
members rather than calling them when they      they do not feel needed or wanted. We
are delinquent in dues for two or more years    want them to share in our fraternity and we
and then using a debt collector approach        certainly need them to help other brothers
to keep them current. Is membership only        and for our work.
a matter of keeping one’s dues current? I
am sure we all agree that we are a fraternity    The tools available for the promoting the
where we have each other’s back, will go out    art of fraternal connection with our missing
of our way to help a brother and where we       brothers freemasonry are available at the
share a common faith in a supreme being,        Scottish Rite Leadership Conference in
which inspires us to lead better lives and      Phoenix Arizona, on April 1 and 2, 2016.
do good deeds. If we are a fraternity and       Strongly consider attending even if you have
we mourn the loss of any member, whether        attended in the past. This is not just for the
by death or nonpayment of dues, do we not       officers—it is for the brethren all.
have the responsibility as brothers to keep
in contact with our brothers? To know what
is happening in their lives and to be ready
to stand by them in their times of trouble?
Sometimes, the brother suspended for being
NPD does not want to leave the fraternity and
only needs the touching hand of a brother.
It is our individual and collective duty to

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